Turkish EU entry would be strong sign to Muslims: ministerShowing that Turkey has a future in the European Union European Union (EU), name given since the ratification (Nov., 1993) of the Treaty of European Union, or Maastricht Treaty, to the
European Community would send a positive message to the whole Muslim world The term Muslim world (or Islamic world) has several meanings. In a cultural sense it refers to the worldwide community of Muslims, adherents of Islam. This community numbers about 1.5-2 billion people, about one-fourth of the world. , the country's European affairs minister said Thursday.
"What kind of message do we want to give to the 1.5 billion Muslims in the world who have the feeling of being pushed away by the West?" Egemen Bagis said at a Brussels press conference.
"Turkey's accession is not only going to send a signal to the Turks" but to the whole Muslim world, he added, using an argument also heard in Washington in favour of Turkish EU accession.
Several EU nations, including Austria, France and Germany have opposed the the big majority Muslim nation joining the European Union and it was a key issue in several countries in the EU parliament election campaign.
"So many candidates who had nothing to do, exploited the issue for local political consumption and not only insulted Turkey but also their voters," he complained.
"More than six million Turks already live and vote in EU countries, that's more than the population of many EU countries," he added.
Turkey opened formal EU membership negotiations in October 2005. It has so far opened 10 of the 35 negotiating chapters that would-be members must successfully complete prior to membership.
The 27 EU nations have agreed in principle to open an 11th chapter, on tax laws, next Tuesday.
However progress has slowed due to Ankara's refusal to recognise EU member Cyprus, the slow pace of democratic reforms in Turkey and the hostility of some EU nations to the idea of letting them in at all.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was due in Brussels on Thursday to try to revitalise Verb 1. revitalise - give new life or vigor to
regenerate, renew - reestablish on a new, usually improved, basis or make new or like new; "We renewed our friendship after a hiatus of twenty years"; "They renewed their membership" the accession process.
Bagis reaffirmed that his country wanted nothing less than full EU membership, attempting to counter calls by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel [ˈaŋɡela doʁoˈteːa ˈmɛɐ̯kəl]) (b. for a limited " (IPA: privileged partnership Privileged partnership is the term coined by the German conservative party CDU for their model of the future relation between Turkey and the European Union, which falls short of full membership. ".
"Those concepts will neither bring privilege nor partnership for Turkey," Bagis said. "Turkey will take nothing less than EU membership."
At a separate meeting with reporters, Bagis, a member of the ruling AKP AKP Adalet Ve Kalkinma Partisi (Turkish: Party for Justice and Progress)
AKP Arbeidernes Kommunist Parti (Norwegian Political Party)
AKP Agjencia Kombetare e Privatizimit (Justice and Development Party), waded into the debate in France over women there wearing the burka, the head-to-toe Islamic veil.
A group of 58 French MPs are asking for a parliamentary panel to look at ways to curb the wearing of the burka or niqab Noun 1. niqab - a face veil covering the lower part of the face (up to the eyes) worn by observant Muslim women
face veil - a piece of more-or-less transparent material that covers the face , which they describe as a "prison" and "degrading TO DEGRADE, DEGRADING. To, sink or lower a person in the estimation of the public.
2. As a man's character is of great importance to him, and it is his interest to retain the good opinion of all mankind, when he is a witness, he cannot be compelled to disclose " for women and contrary to French secular principles.
The Turkish minister said women should be allowed to make their own decisions on the matter.
"If the burka is imposed (on women) I am very opposed," he said.
But he added that he did support the right to free expression.
"If someone wants to express themselves by wearing mini-skirts I have no problem with that. If someone wants to express themselves by wearing a veil on their head the same applies," Bagis added.
On Monday French President Nicolas Sarkozy condemned the burka as "a symbol of subjugation Subjugation
king to whom God sold Israelites. [O.T.: Judges 3:8]
consigned to servitude in retribution for trickery. [O.T.: Joshua 9:22–27]
curses him and progeny to servitude. [O. rather than faith" and said it was not welcome in France.